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Gauhati High Court order on Covid-19 testing labs in Nagaland

At present, all samples are sent from Nagaland to laboratories in Assam for testing
Gauhati High Court

Bhadra Gogoi   |   Dimapur   |   Published 28.04.20, 07:21 PM

The Kohima bench of Gauhati High Court on Tuesday directed the Nagaland government to make at least two Covid-19 testing labs in the state functional within 10 days.

At present, all samples are sent from Nagaland to laboratories in Assam for testing.

Hearing a PIL filed by Kikrukhonuo, a resident of Midland colony, Kohima, a two-bench court of Justice Songkhupchung Serto and Justice S. Hukato Swu the state government to gear up and make sure that the two main hospitals, one in Kohima and the other in Dimapur, which have been identified for treatment of Covid-19 patients, are fully equipped and ready for functioning to meet the challenge or challenges posed by the Covid-19 within a period of two weeks.

The court also asked the state government to make every effort to establish other labs at strategic places in the state to facilitate free testing in the near future.

It directed the state government to provide sufficient number of PPEs to all persons who are involved in the treatment of Covid-19 patients and in the looking after of persons in quarantine centres. The PPEs should be of the standard quality as prescribed by the appropriate authority, the bench said.

The government was also asked to make all efforts to make ICU facilities at all places identified for treatment of Covid-19 infected persons and increase the number of ventilators so as to facilitate treatment in times of need.

The court also asked the state government to make ambulances available to the Covid-19 patients at the earliest, if not already made available, and also make available transportation facilities to all persons who are in the line of duty in view of the constraints and restraints imposed both by the government and the public.

“See to it that under no circumstance or circumstances there should be any shortage of trained personnel for treatment of the Covid-19 patients and those who are quarantined,” the order said.

Regarding the other concerns raised by the petitioner in the writ petition, the respondents — the state government and three others represented by the chief secretary, principal secretary, health and family welfare department, principal director, health and family welfare department and the Union of India represented by the secretary, ministry of health and family welfare — were asked to look into them and file their response through an affidavit on the returnable date.

After hearing the counsel, Neiteo Koza, appearing for the petitioner and the additional senior government advocate V. Suokhrie appearing for the respondents, the court was of the view that it would be sufficient at this stage if notice is issued to the respondents and limited directions are issued.

The state respondents were also directed to file their affidavit showing their level of preparedness and also a statement showing the materials already supplied for the personnel who are in the line of duty.

“This PIL through which certain concerns regarding the actions already taken and which are yet to be taken by the state government regarding the Covid-19 are sought to be brought to the notice of this court for issuing necessary direction or directions,” the order said.

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